Word background color doesn't persist for .dotm template docs

Occasional Contributor


I have Office Professional Plus 2019.


There is a background color that I want all my Word docs to have by default, whenever creating a new/blank doc: 227-221-191. This is easy to do in Word: Design -> Page Color


The problem is that when I set up my doc this way and save it as a ".dotm" file into C:\Users\<me>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\Normal.dotm, the background color apparently didn't take. When I launch Word and create a new/blank doc, the background color is white instead of the color I set. But I know that it (in some way at least) used the Normal.dotm I just created, because I had also changed the font and margins in the dotm, and those got used in the new doc as expected.


Why is my background color not being used/invoked that I had set (and saved) in Normal.dotm?? Is this a bug in word?

2 Replies

@HerrimanCoder Word must create its own Normal.dotm, which you can then modify as you like. But you can't create a different template and then name it as Normal.dotm -- it doesn't have all the bits it needs to operate as it should.


Close Word and then delete or rename Normal.dotm. Restart Word, which will create a new Normal.dotm file. Open that Normal.dotm for editing -- most easily, by opening the macro editor (Alt+F11), opening the Immediate window in the editor (Ctrl+G), typing NormalTemplate.OpenAsDocument, and pressing Enter. Make whatever changes you want, including the page color, and then save and close Word. From then on, your page color will be in new blank documents.

I followed your steps exactly and it didn't work. Same as before: it kept my new font size and margins but discarded the color.

And WOW what a crazy-elaborate set of steps just to change the default template. MS must REALLY not want people to do this.